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Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela, 1928-1978

Edited by Idurre Alonso

This lavishly illustrated volume examines the work of the Venezuelan photographer and art historian Alfredo Boulton, one of the main intellectuals of Latin American modernity.

Alfredo Boulton (1908-1995) is considered one of the most important champions of modern art in Venezuela and a key intellectual of twentieth-century modernism. He was a pioneer of modern photography, an art critic, a researcher and historian of Venezuelan art, a friend to many of the great artists and architects of the twentieth century, and an expert on the imagery of the heroes of his country's independence.

Yet, Boulton is shockingly under-recognized outside of his native land. The few exhibitions related to his work have focused exclusively on his photographic production; never has there been a project that looks at the full range of Boulton's  efforts, foregrounding his influence on the shaping of Venezuelan art. This volume addresses these lacunae by analyzing Boulton's groundbreaking photographic practice, his central role in the construction of a modern national artistic canon, and his influence in formalizing and developing art history and criticism in Venezuela. Based on the extensive materials held in Boulton's archive at the Getty Research Institute, Alfredo Boulton brings together essays by leading scholars in the field to offer a commanding, original perspective on his contributions to the formation of a distinctive modernity at home and beyond.

This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the Getty Research Institute at the Getty Center from August 29, 2023, to January 21, 2024.

Idurre Alonso is curator of Latin American collections at the Getty Research Institute.

“This book is unique because it looks comprehensively at his artistic production and at the important role he played in the historiographical development and understanding of Venezuelan art and modernity.”
—L. E. Carranza, CHOICE

“Beautifully constructed. . . . Recommended for undergraduate and graduate students interested in Latin American art history, archivists, and libraries seeking to expand their Latin American history collections.”
—Christine Rosa, ARLIS/NA

"[A] remarkable book. . . . Alfredo Boulton: Looking at Venezuela, 1928-1978 paints a compelling portrait of a period in which art, art history and politics were part of a modernising project."
—Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, The Art Newspaper

"This lavish publication, which examines [Boulton's] full range of activity, including pre-Hispanic art, promises to be revelatory."
Jacqueline Riding, The Art Newspaper

288 pages
8 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches
164 color and 19 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-819-9

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Research Institute